Liverpool Football Club is unlike any other football club in the world. No other club can claim it’s heritage, it’s history or its incredible supporters. No other team means so much to so many people. Those who think otherwise are just deluding themselves.
When you take this in account when discussing the ownership issue the answer to me is perfectly clear. It’s the supporters who should own and direct the future of our club. The reality is no one individual, partnership or company should be given the right to own or sell Liverpool soley for profit, or because the partners are having a bloody tiff. No one who does not live and breath LFC should presume to understand what the needs of our great club are. No one. Just because an individual or a company is wealthy doesn’t mean they’re qualified to run our great club. Even if DIC did take over are we sure things would change for the better? Come to think of it, any ownership structure without Gillett and Hicks would be better!
ShareLiverpoolfc.co.uk have proposed a ‘one-share, one-vote’ structure to ensure that no-one ever owns more than one share of Liverpool. They propose that fans vote for the membership of a “Fan Parliament” and at the same time for the “ShareLiverpoolFC Board”. The “ShareLiverpoolFC Board” would be responsible for appointing the Board of the Football Club. Check out their “How It Would Work” page.
I think ShareLiverpoolFC are definitely on the right track and I wish them luck but the downside to their proposal is the cost. Each share is £5,000 and they need 100,000 of us to buy them in order to raise the £500m to buy the club. That’s approx. 2.5 times the capacity of Anfield! I know they suggest that people can club together and buy a share but my question is how many of these shares would be bought by the supporters who sit in the stands week after week? I’m guessing not as many as there should be and in my mind these are the people who should be having a say on how the club is run and by whom. These are the most knowledgeable shareholders Liverpool could hope for.
Alternatively, FC Barcelona is owned and run by approx. 150,000 ‘members’, rather than shareholders, who pay (according to one web-site) an annual fee around £100. Other clubs such as Atletico Madrid & Real Madrid are structured in the same way. These members vote every four years to elect the president of the board of directors and the principle officers. Randomly selected members serve as delegates to the club’s general assembly, which approves the annual budget. German clubs like Hamburg SV and Schalke 04 are also member associations, while others have a corporate and an association structure, but even here the company must be controlled by the members’ association.
This is a structure I believe should be considered at Liverpool. These kind of ownership structures ensure decisions are made in the interest of the club not the investors who only want to know what kind of profit they’ve made! Don’t get me wrong I want a financially healthy club but under an ownership structure if supporters don’t like the way the club is being run they vote out the leadership! Now wouldn’t that be great!
The bottom line is we need to get Liverpool out of the hands of these greedy, unknowledgeable, businessmen who say all the right things but never follow through (I could have sworn we were supposed to have a new stadium this year weren’t we?) and into the hands of the people who care the most, you and me.
Thanks for reading.